Librivox recording of Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses, by Mark Twain.
Fenimore Cooper - author of The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans, etc - has often been praised, but just as often been criticised for his writing. Mark Twain wrote a funny, vicious little essay on the subject, in which he states: “In one place in ‘Deerslayer,’ and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offences against literary art out of a possible 115.” (Summary by Gesine)
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August 8, 2011 Subject:
Twain writes with his usual biting humor. He clearly doesn't think much of Cooper's writing and illustrates his critique with examples that helped me to think more critically about what makes a good story. I would recommend this short essay to all who want to understand what makes a great writer - or more accurately, what makes a popular writer not so great after all.